“Is God proud of you?”
On September 11, 2001 the world stood still as Islamic terrorists used four planes as lethal weapons against innocent Americans. The 9/11 Commission was formed to determine how such an attack could happen, and its report documented the trail from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to the tragedy of that September morning.
ABC is commemorating the 5th Anniversary of the attacks with a two part tv movie, ‘The Path To 911.’ It draws from the 911 Commission Report, published accounts, and interviews to create a dramatization of the events surrounding the incident, tracing the roots back over 8 years to the first WTC bombing in 1973. The primary character is FBI agent John O’Neill, who had a ringside seat at how ineptly the Federal government handled the growing Islamic terrorist threat in the 1990s.
The first part was long but good. It covers a lot of ground but it’s never particularly dull. Hindsight being 20/20, the errors in judgment on the part of the Feds is remarkable. It’s clear from the dramatization that the Clinton administration was just incapable of taking a strong posture as terrorist attacks grew more bold.
President Clinton, Madeline Albright, and Sandy Berger in particular have objected to the representations in the film. Putting aside the unintentional comedy of Bill Clinton stressing the value of telling the truth (remember he manipulated his wife and members of his cabinet to go around on tv shows and interviews and repeat his lies regarding his perjury & obstruction of justice charges), let’s just say that ‘Clinton’ and ‘Credibility’ aren’t exactly synonymous. Sandy Berger, the guy who stuffed documents from the national archives in his socks and panties, similarly isn’t Mr Credibility when it comes to matters like this. The Democrat leadership have gone so far as to lean on ABC to not air the film, which really demonstrates how far they have fallen in the modern era.
Dramatizations do put words in peoples mouths that they may never have said. Dramatizations also puts people in situations that may not exactly reflect the real-life incidents. Too bad for the Clinton crew that it doesn’t matter – that’s the nature of dramatizations and everybody knows it. While the words and situations do not literally portray what happen, they do dramatize a basic truth – the administration didn’t have the wits to recognize the growing threat, nor the will to handle the growing threat.
I’m reluctant, and always have been reluctant, to be a ‘blamer.’ The people to blame for the 911 attacks are the attackers themselves and the organization that made their mission possible. That being said, the 911 Commission’s mandate was not to lay blame but rather to find out what went wrong and to make suggestions to make things right for the future. Whether it succeeded or not is not yet clear, but there is plenty to learn from the failures of the Clinton & Bush administrations.
We can’t fix a problem if we can’t first isolate the problem. Political figures taking a posture of ‘don’t look at me’ is embarrassing. Indeed, it smacks of ego – people who really think the lessons of the ‘Path to 911’ tv movie as primarily about them have a lot of ‘problems.’
I’m sorry to say that it appears that we have quite a few people along the political landscape with a lot of ‘problems.’